When Connie Feda’s 13 year old daughter, who has Down’s Syndrome, wanted a doll that looked like her, Connie was inspired to make her own!
When your child is disabled, it is almost impossible to find a doll that represents them. With some struggle, it is possible to find glasses, doll-sized hearing aids or a wheelchair. But a doll that reflects the facial and physical appearances of Downs Syndrome has yet to be produced.
One girl had waited long enough! According to WPXI.com, Connie Feda’s 13-year-old daughter Hannah, who has Downs Syndrome, was flipping through a toy catalogue when she said to her mom, “None of these dolls look like me. Not one of them.” Feda was inspired to make a doll that represented her.
Feda designed the doll, not just to look like a child with Downs, but to be stimulating and sympathetic to Downs children in other ways too. The doll’s clothes have zippers that are easier to grip and can be special ordered with a “badge of courage” scar painted on to the chest to indicate the heart surgery common to Downs children. For all these reasons, the doll is perfect for a child with Downs or a friend or sibling.
Feda is taking pre-orders now for her Dolls for Downs. She advertizes them with this smart tagline: “My doll has more chromosomes than your doll.” It’s this attitude – that she is unashamedly proud and shrugs aside any notion that there is something lacking in a child with a disability – that I respect about her project.
There are many restrictions on children with disabilities – but play should never be one of them.
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